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Fire is awesome. And dangerous. Fortunately for us, people who enjoy toeing the line of complete self immolation for the sake of a brief spectacle continue to find creative ways to satisfy their urges, and to post them on YouTube.

We're comfortable showing you these without fear that you'll accidentally torch yourself and everyone you love because one, they're fairly complicated to pull off and involve stuff you probably don't have lying around the house; and two, we have faith our readers are not morons.

Still, we're leaving this warning for when you come back and read this while feeling drunk and adventurous: Don't do any of these yourself, ever.

Turn Bacon (Or a Cucumber) Into a Welding Torch

Why waste bacon by stuffing it into a cheeseburger or feeding the homeless when you could be using it to cut through steel?

Using a metal rod, roll seven tubes of the Italian super-bacon, known as prosciutto, and bake it overnight on low heat (we really can't recommend leaving the oven on all night unattended, but by this point if cooking some bacon is what blows your house up, it was probably your time to go).

Next, wrap the hardened bacon in more bacon, continually resisting the urge to dip it in a jar of mayonnaise and shove it into your mouth, and continue baking it. Eventually, you get this:

Tie a little more uncooked prosciutto around this beast, then duct tape it to a metal nozzle, hook it up to a tank of oxygen, turn on the O2 and light that motherfucker up.


The flames can melt steel, but the bacon itself amazingly doesn't burn. You can take it off and crumble it up in a salad if you want. The food is unscathed because it turns out the random mess that is organic life makes for poor heat conduction. This is why logs don't burn evenly, and your old aunt's wooden reading chair was relatively unscathed when she spontaneously combusted. You can accomplish the same thing using a cucumber and seven bread sticks, if for some reason you find yourself trapped in an Olive Garden.

Hydrogen Flame-Throwing Balloon

This trick combines all the fun of a welding torch with the thrill of blowing both of your hands off with a ball of ignited hydrogen gas.

This is about as simple as it gets: They took a rubber balloon, filled it with Hydrogen gas, put a valve on the end of it and ignited the escaping gas. To what end or purpose is not discussed in the video, nor is it explicitly stated whether you have to be listening to shitty music to maximize your output--but hey, you've got a flame jet.

The valve prevents the flame from just igniting the balloon (the escaping fuel moves out and away from the balloon, ensuring that the flame continues to burn in an opposite direction--as long as the valve is open and there is gas left inside).

Sure, it may seem totally pointless, but add a rigid skeletal structure to a large enough balloon and suddenly you've got a vehicle powered by a cheap, clean-burning fuel and so long, energy crisis. No historical precedence exists to suggest this video made by a simple man doing something stunningly reckless for no conceivable reason can't go on to revolutionize the modern world.

Well, besides this.

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Homemade Roman Candle

These guys figured they'd use a little chemistry to get around all those pesky laws that ban the sale of fireworks in some states (why do those exist, anyway?)

They just took a length of PVC pipe, filled it with sugar and potassium nitrate and dropped a match inside. It ignites, starts smoking and shooting off sparks like a Korean Transformer, and voila, you've got a roman candle.

So apparently the Romans were pretty relieved when flashlights came along, because it seems unlikely one of these would light a dark hallway without also setting everything in sight ablaze. Keen eyes may notice that partway through the video, the sparks land in the open bucket of highly flammable potassium nitrate/sugar mixture, which for some reason was being kept close by. In certain situations, this can be dangerous.

This is one of those situations.

More hijinks ensue when the base of the PVC pipe begins to flame, because plastics are petroleum products, and last we checked, oil burns. Maybe using a a metal pipe would result in a less stupid device that should easily withstand the high temperatures, but if you're making home-made fireworks in your backyard at all you probably can't be bothered to worry about that sort of thing.

Jelly Jar Pulse Jet Engine

That's right, anyone with the desire to duct tape a glass bomb to a skateboard and a predilection for total physical disfigurement can create a miniature jet engine with model airplane fuel and an empty jar!

Once lit, the vapor in the jar quickly catches fire and expands, escaping through the hole in the lid but preventing the next "charge" from igniting until it has been released, at which point cool clean air enters, promptly explodes and starts the whole cycle over again until the fuel is exhausted. Or until something goes horribly wrong.

During this reaction, the jar makes a noise that sounds like it could explode at any second, probably because it can explode at any second. The video urges you to wear goggles in case of this event, and while we are by no means scientists, we're pretty sure you need more than three inches of plastic over your eyes to defend against white-hot exploding glass fragments.

Unless you are Luke Cage.

In theory, you can strap a few of these to something small with wheels and watch it roll off. You can also just, you know, push something small with wheels and watch it roll off. It probably won't explode, then.

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Ruben's Tube

A Ruben's Tube is a length of pipe with several holes drilled in it, hooked up to a speaker and a propane source. Sounds played through the speaker send jets of flame along the pipe in the shape of the sound waves. After all the destruction we've featured so far, this one is actually kind of nerdawesome.


Get a length of pipe with holes drilled every 3/4 of an inch, seal it on both ends and hook it up to a speaker and a bottle of propane. Turn on the gas, light it, then play some Slayer through the speaker and watch the most metal display of physics you will ever see. These folks at MIT made a video of the Ruben's Tube playing "Still Alive" from Portal:

The tube works because the sound passing through creates nodes and antinodes in sync with the holes. Basically, the peaks and valleys of the sound wave match up with the holes in the tube, so as the wave changes, more or less gas is ejected, changing the height of each flame on the tube.

Fun fact: One of the scientists whose research helped Heinrich Rubens to devise his titular device was named August Kundt. Oh, the jokes that might have been.

My Kundt's Tube is burning.

Make a Fire Tornado

If you've ever watched any specials on forest fires or news reports about the pile of oil soaked rags known as southern California, you might have seen a fire tornado before. Nothing on earth looks so much like the finger of God come down to mete out some smiting like a swirling pillar of flame.

"I guess maybe if we came at it from the side? Just kidding fellas, I'm not getting anywhere near that fucking thing."

All you need to make a small scale version is a Lazy Susan, some lighter fluid, a dish, a sponge and some screen. Also, being impervious to flame would help, because the chance of this thing spilling and killing everyone around you is pretty high.

This is pretty much like setting a merry-go-round on fire, though hopefully without any burning children. When the lighter fluid-soaked sponge spins, the fire naturally turns with it. The screen tube allows the fire to breathe while spinning the air above it, which results in the spiraling jet of flame that the guy in the video seemingly can't wait to shove his face into.

Not pictured: logic, reason.

In nature, fire tornadoes are a lot less fun--in Tokyo back in 1923, a fire tornado killed 38,000 people in less than 15 minutes. Regular tornados just do not compare, because if Dorothy was carried off to Oz in a rampaging conical chariot of flames, the Wicked Witch would've just left her the fuck alone.

Find more from David at Associated Content.

For more disturbing ways humans are using science to make them look like wizards, check out 7 Man-Made Substances That Laugh in the Face of Physics and 5 Scientific Ways to Make Water Do Magic..

And stop by Cracked.com's Top Picks or we'll light your ass on fire right now.

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